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Doctor Who - The Space Museum/The Chase [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Space Museum/The Chase [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Hartnell
Price: £11.10

12 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother; the amateur "Restoration Team" behind the old series DVDs strike again, 7 Mar 2010
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Let's be clear here: "The Chase" is NOT a great story. It's not even a good story. It's badly acted, stodgily written and appallingly made. But that's not why it gets a single star.

It is, simply, a product of its time. Watch it for Ian and Barbera, the first ever companions, leaving; but really, watch it and awe at its horrific badness- well. Until the sloppy, overindulged fan-boys who call themselves the "Restoration Team" step in to...what, exactly? They don't just clean up the picture and audio, they have given themselves a free mandate to alter the old stories beyond the original TV versions.

*They cut scenes that were production mistakes (a Dalek appearing in a location a whole episode before they even arrive.)
*They TURN DOWN THE BRIGHTNESS on a scene where a Dalek falls into a pit in daylight when it should have been night. Even the on-screen production notes jovially note the scene as taking place in daylight.
*They tamper with minor, minor on-screen errors and replace them with little computer-generated corrections.

Why do this? The only people who would really notice these old faults are fans. And they're too busy laughing with the story; it's impossible to take seriously. Have the restoration amateurs made the rubbish costumes more convincing? The music more tolerable? The acting better? The robot Doctor look more like William Hartnell? The alien backdrops look less like a painting?
So why bother robbing a simple story of its few charms?

Utterly ridiculous, and sadly a practice that is becoming more and more uninhibited with every old "Who" DVD that gets released now.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2014 1:57 PM BST

Lost - Season 5 [DVD]
Lost - Season 5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jorge Garcia
Price: £11.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The weakest season, but still miles ahead of the competition, 7 Sep 2009
This review is from: Lost - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
Season 3 of LOST was an awkward beast. It started off rather stodgily, before finally getting to the point several episodes in, and became a fantastic piece of TV.

Season 5 does the same reverse. It starts off great, before settling into a storyline that didn't engage me too well.

After the bewildering ending to season 4, the pace is picked up on- and off-island beautifully. The events on the island initially hold the attention more than those off, mostly because we've seen snippets of life off the island since season 3. The survivors on the island being whittled down by attacks and thrown through time works really well- until we hit the 1970s.

The off-island events pick up pace well, and barring a couple of head-scratching moments (the island is "always" moving? why the rush to move it at the end of season 4 then?) it's good to see how the Oceanic 6 have picked up their lives...or not...and come together to return to the island, and their friends- now stuck in the 1970's and part of the DHARMA Initiative.

I like the DHARMA initiative as much as anyone; from the almost-derelict Swan Station in season 2 to the discovery of their mass grave. But our island heroes joining the Initiative in the '70s, while well-played and rationialized, just pushes the show a little too far from it's "Survivor: the series" beginnings into "cult TV" territory. Why did the creators choose to have them there? The whole theme of "can you change time?" has so far been presented with a resounding NO, thus making dramatic tension (Daniel's attempts to change history, and the 2-part finale) a little nonsensical- but perhaps season 6 will surprise, and make the 1977 DHARMA plotline more integral to the show than it has been so far.

"Only" a good season of a great show- but I hold out hope that season 6 will "complete" season 5. LOST hasn't disappointed so far.

by Warren Fahy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fine for three-quarters, then changes into a bafflingly different book, 16 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Fragment (Paperback)
Like others, I was drawn by the tagline "'Jurassic Park' for the 'Lost' generation" (and admittedly the gorgeous cover). Reality show meets deserted, dangerous island; sounds like fun.

The book's a fairly clunky read, in all honesty. The prose isn't particularly flowing, and at times very awkward and stodgy, but the basic storyline engages the attention. "Hender's Island", a remnant of a millions-year-old continent, has evolved along staggeringly different lines to the rest of the planet due to it's isolation. The frenzied kill-or-be-killed atmosphere of the island is well-conveyed and the characters- a mixture of crew from the ship that discovers the island, and other scientists, carry it along nicely (though is no hint of 'Lost's character depth here; they're very shallow). Amongst the discussions of the biology of Hender's Island there are also interesting musings on the genetic nature of ageing, sex, and death.

All good so far. But then, near the end of the story, we discover an intelligent species- and this is where the book wildly changes tone. Coming across as either a children's story or a poor 'Star Trek' episode, the "Hender" creature himself is embarassingly depicted, with his "caveman english" speech being especially awful. Other characters suddenly change motivation from misguided or greedy to homicidal killers, and the whole story is quickly and simplistically wrapped up with a nuclear explosion and broadcast to the President of the US through the Discovery Channel (!)

All in all, a trashy-but-interesting read which changes near the end into a kid's storybook.

Red Dwarf: Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]
Red Dwarf: Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chris Barrie
Price: £9.17

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very dated, but essential viewing, 29 April 2009
Here's where Red Dwarf began. With a pitiful budget, the series looks grey and tacky; but what saves it is the perfect relationship between Lister and Rimmer. Antagonists on and off-set, the two spark off each other in a highly satisfying way.
Although some of the comedy feels awkward (especially to someone used to sereis III onwards) this was the start of a show that became a cult, then mainstream, success. It's therefore worth a watch, and also worth revisiting to see the original concept of Red Dwarf before GELFs, hard-light holograms, CGI and a cast of dozens radically changed the premise of the series.

Red Dwarf: Series 3 [DVD]
Red Dwarf: Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Craig Charles
Price: £15.27

5.0 out of 5 stars The best series of a cult classic, 29 April 2009
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
After the stilted, horrifically tacky-looking seasons one and two, it was all change behind the scenes for Red Dwarf. The result: a faster-paced comedy that still looks and feels fresh.
Funnier and warmer than its preceeding seasons, this is the perfect blend of comedy, characterisation, and sci-fi. Unlike later seasons the comedy is far more prominent, even in the science fiction ideas; the plot devices are ludicrous- time travelling photo slides?- , but as the show was always designed as a *comedy* foremost ("Back to Earth" team take note) it works perfectly both as a homage and mockery.
The best Red Dwarf series easily- and, in all likelihood, ever.

Red Dwarf: Series 5 [DVD]
Red Dwarf: Series 5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Llewelyn
Offered by 247dvd
Price: £4.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Last "regular" Red Dwarf, ever..., 22 April 2009
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Series 5 [DVD] (DVD)
Series 5 is the last season of Red Dwarf presented in the way that made it so popular. Lister, Rimmer, Kryten, Cat and Holly crew the ship, with jokes and imaginative stories abounding. It's noticeable that the plotlines grew a little more at the expense of the humour, foreshadowing the eventual direction of the series, but here the balance is still working well and it's just very, very funny.

Some of the stories are well-known amongst fans; "The Inquisitor" mixes comedy and drama well, and "Back to Reality" is good (though many fans referring to it as the "ultimate episode" is overrating it) and weaker stories such as "Terrorform" are due reappraisal after so long.

For me, series 5 is the point at- with hindsight (especially after the awfulness of 2009's "Back to Earth")- I wish they had stopped making Red Dwarf, letting us remember it as a good series that left us wanting more.

Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 8 [2003] [DVD] [1988]
Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 8 [2003] [DVD] [1988]
Dvd ~ Craig Charles
Price: £8.74

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hated then and now, but really not that bad, 22 April 2009
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True, Red Dwarf 8 fails on more than one level. The stories are overlong (Pete, Back in the Red), the jokes are fewer, Holly has NOTHING to do, and the "prison" plot overstays its welcome by a long shot.

And don't get me started on the stupidity of that cliffhanger ending; Doug Naylor clearly did not learn his lesson after the near-death of the show after series 6's cliffhanger aired. Why they abandonded a fully-filmed and likeable ending for the crew, included here, is bizarre at best. It's also strangely not even mentioned in Naylor's book on series 8, when talking about the need to avoid a downbeat ending. Was he hoping we would never see it?

However; the premise of resurrecting the crew, the return to audience filming, and the tone of the series make this one better than series 7- and a more entertaining experience- for me. It's usually OK, pretty good in places, and doesn't deserve its poor reputation amongst many Red Dwarf fans.

Red Dwarf - Back To Earth - Director's Cut [DVD] [2009]
Red Dwarf - Back To Earth - Director's Cut [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Chris Barrie
Price: £9.99

18 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sad end to a former iconic cult series, 13 April 2009
After ten years in limbo, co-creator Doug Naylor was able to briefly revive Red Dwarf for a three-part episode on the "Dave" channel. And he wasted the opportunity, horribly.

On the evidence of seasons seven and eight, comedic timing and scripting has never been Nayor's strong suit. Many of the jokes here are either stale or lacking any real humour. Defenders of the storylines' failings point out that Red Dwarf changed over it's eight seasons, into a more mature beast. On this showing, all it changed into was a show that simply isn't original or particulary funny.

The cast give it their best, and there is real joy in seeing them together (the Red Dwarf herself, it must also be noted, looks fantastic even on the miniscule budget). But they just can't overcome the failings of the script, which is lacking real wit and is a virtual remake of a well-regarded, similarly-titled episode. Why Naylor choose to do this storyline, rather than actually retire the series gracefully, genuinely escapes me. It was hoped by cast and creator alike that this could re-launch Red Dwarf; I sincerely wish that this will not be the case. Leave Red Dwarf in the past where it belongs, rather than damage its memory further.

by Richard Doyle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, 9 Sep 2007
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This review is from: Flood (Paperback)
Superbly written and gripping, this lengthy book never bores. It starts off as a storm in the US; a ship sinks off the coast, while storms batter Britain; before you know it, the slow build-up has exploded- literally- as a supertanker smashes into an oil plant in London and all hell breaks loose.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters, with their own stories in London's worst night, this book enthralls, with you rooting for almost everyone you meet. Absolutely fantastic. The present-tense style of writing seems initially odd, but suits the book well. 5 / 5.

Hot Fuzz (2 Disc Special Edition) [2007] [DVD]
Hot Fuzz (2 Disc Special Edition) [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Simon Pegg
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £7.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, and better than "Shaun of the Dead", 8 Sep 2007
I loved Shaun of the Dead, and this movie by the same guys is even better.

It's packed with laughs and great performances; it's good to see Timothy Dalton again, and he does great work here. The storyline, a la "Shaun", starts off very funny but eventually goes into a very dark place. It works brilliantly, and I can't fault this film at all!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 27, 2011 3:51 AM BST

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